Kopi Culture | Iced Filtered Coffee
Month: September 2016
Hotel Borobudur Jakarta’s Executive Pastry Chef is all about cooking adventure, learning new things and sharing knowledge with anyone who shares the same heightened passion in culinary.
AS A LITTLE BOY, Chef Fabrice Cardelec woke up everyday to the smell of freshly baked pastries.
“There was a bakery very near to my house. Every morning the smell would enter my room. I wake up to the scent of croissant and bread,” he reminisced.
As a native of Normandy, France, Fabrice also grew up in the agriculturally rich region. Parts of Normandy consist of rolling countryside with sprawling pasture for dairy cattle and apple orchards.
Some of the most famous dairy products are produced and exported from Normandy, such as the Norman cheeses like Camembert, Livarot, Pont l’Évêque, Brillat-Savarin, Neufchâtel, Petit Suisse and Boursin. Likewise, the Normandy butter and Normandy cream are lavishly used in the culinary world.
With abundant supply of apple, its no wonder that the pomaceous fruit become an important ingredient, resulting in signature dishes like: moules à la normande (mussels cooked with apples, cream and cheese) and bourdelots (apples baked in pastry). Every family has their own variation of Norman Tart, a classic pastry-based variant of the apple tart.
“My earliest memory of cooking is when I was 5- or 6-year-old watching my mom cookng rice pudding. I remember we also make our own yogurt,” Fabrice told me.
To this day, a nice warm and crispy apple tart remains his favorite dessert dish.
A career as pastry chef seemed natural for young Fabrice. After an apprenticeship in Normandy, he graduated at the age of 18 from CFA de la Boulangerie Pâtisserie Rouen in his hometown in 1985.
As fresh graduate do, he quickly move to get as many experience as he can. “But I always wanted to go abroad because I knew I was good at two things: pastry and language. I learn language very quick,” Fabrice said.
When he was 20, he caught a big break, landing for a job in the Netherlands. After hearing a friend talking about England, he became intrigued and moved and got a job there before returning to France.
Fabrice had a stint of seven years working as Pastry and Bakery Chef Instructor at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont in the U.S..
To date, he has worked around the world from Bahrain, Ivory Coast Abidjan, Philippines, and Egypt, ever ready to rise up to new challenges.
“I always accept challenge, try to introduce my technique to other people, to my employees,” he said.
Fabrice arrived in Jakarta early last year to become head of the Hotel Borobudur Jakarta’s 26-strong pastry kitchen team.
“This hotel is one of the biggest hotels I’ve worked in. The challenge, however, is always about bringing the best quality,” he said.
For him, it’s not about the money or anything, but what’s most important is sharing the knowledge. With that said, he also wanted to present a new style of pastry unique in Jakarta.
“I’m working for an idea for our Christmas creation. It’s a secret of course,” Fabrice said with a grin.
HOTEL BOROBUDUR JAKARTA
T: +62 21 3805555
Here we unveil our four, shortlisted choices for the best cakes in Jakarta. If you haven’t, we suggest you to give it a try soon.
CAKES! Everybody loves it and more than ever these days. People will line up at your favorite cake shop at any given time. Cakes used to be considered as a delicacy made available during birthdays or weddings here in the city. Today we would have them in restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, and not forgetting also to bring some for people back home.
So, where to find the best cakes here in Jakarta? Here’s some we’d like you to try. Hopefully, you’re encouraged to explore more!
AMKC’s Es Teler Cake
Adhika Maxi and Karen Carlotta have always been inventive with their creations. The former indulges his restaurant patrons with interesting comfort food recipes and the best of ingredients, while the latter has a special talent with desserts and in particular – the Indonesian-themed cakes.
The Es Teler Cake is the pride of AMKC and the embodiment of one of Indonesia’s most loved desserts. The iconic elements of coconut and jackfruit star as the main cast of the show. Karen plays her role really well by also ensuring that the level of sweetness and lightness. you will be sure to keep on digging until the last bite.
Jalan MH Thamrin Kav. 28-30 Jakarta
T: +62 21 29924357
The Mandarin Cake Shop’s Exotic Coconut Cake
Mandarin Oriental Jakarta’s executive pastry chef Remi Martinazzo has been busy learning about local flavors since he arrived in Jakarta last year and has taken a liking to the city’s jajanan pasar. With this inspiration, he uses classic Indonesian flavors and reimagines them in different textures and has created Exotic Coconut Cake. A coconut dacquoise sponge with a light coconut mousse infused with pandan leaves, pineapple and jackfruit compote. Immediately familiar but deliciously different at the same time.
THE MANDARIN CAKE SHOP,
Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Jakarta
T: +62 21 29938820
UNION’s Speculaas Cake
Jakarta’s iconic cake shops will always be there for all of us; but UNION is among those few who introduce cakes as the up-and-coming delicacy in the future as an important element of today’s culinary trends.
We have seen and enjoyed the phenomenal Red Velvet Cake for a few years now, but UNION never ceases to present its loyal patrons with new and exciting creations. In addition to the exciting Klappertaart Cake, we also fell in love deeply with its Speculaas Cake. A tribute to childhood biscuits and coffee’s truest friend, this Dutch-influenced cinnamon cake is not just pleasing our palate, but also heartwarming and nostalgic.
Jalan Asia Afrika, Jakarta
Pondok Indah Mall
Jalan Metro Pondok Indah
Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall Jalan MH Thamrin, Jakarta
THE DHARMAWANGSA’s Pistacchio Cheese Cake
We always have a thing with anything coming from The Dharmawangsa. From the dessert department, the talented pastry chef Yuri Komalasari is the one who is responsible with the hotel’s exciting cake creations and there’s one version of cheese cake that we need to share with you right away.
Clad with colorful fruits and the rich, sultry characters of traditional cheesecake, The Cake Shop added one interesting ingredient to match this playful harmony which came from pistachio. Even making it more interesting, there’s also another twist made with the cheese cake and that came from passion fruit.
Jalan Brawijaya no. 26, Jakarta
Lorenzo Sollecito’s timid smile hides the fact that he is a dessert wunderkid. This prince of pastry reigns over the sweet treats at the brand new Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta.
TUCKED INTO the right corner as you walk into the new Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta is the very beautiful La Patisserie. It is an elegant salon, it’s walls are in a robin’s egg blue hue, emblazoned with gold chevrons, Marie Antionette would definitely feel right at home here. But what really got me transfixed were the beautiful pastry creations enshrined in display cases. All created by the young executive pastry chef, Lorenzo Sollecito.
A native of Mezzocorona in northeast Italy – Lorenzo recalls one of his earliest food memories was of eating canederli, a traditional bread dumpling. Canederli commonly considered cucina povera or a poor man’s dish, they are made of simple and inexpensive ingredients: stale bread is moistened with milk and bound with eggs and a small amount of flour. However, the mixture is often enriched with cheese, speck (a kind of smoked prosciutto also typical of region), mushrooms and other leftover meats. Lorenzo says that each household has its own recipe. The dumpling are then boiled, then served dry or with with melted butter or in broth.
Lorenzo was a hyperactive child he tells me, and him mother and grandmother needed to give him something to do, if not he would bother the whole household. Luckily, his grandparents owned a pizzeria. So he was tasked to help out. “Sometimes my grandfather would come back with pine nuts. I would have to unshell them one by one with a stone,” Lorenzo recalls. The region where they lived is also best known for apples – Lorenzo credits his late grandmother for inspiring his foray into the pastry world. He would help his grandmother bake apple strudel and biscuits as young child of five years old. “I remember peeling many apples. But I also remember that I was enjoying what I was doing.”
The first dish Lorenzo ever cooked was his biggest disaster in the kitchen. He was age seven then and his grandmother had broken her arm after a fall. So he was asked to help cook for his grandfather. “I ended up cooking 1 kilogram of pasta with no salt and overcooked it. Luckily, my grandfather still ate it,” Lorenzo recalls fondly.
That did not deter him from pursuing his passion, working his way up from a commis chef to chef de partie in the kitchens of several European hotels and restaurants. He moved from St. Moritz, Venice and around Tuscany. He later moved to Milan and started to work at the Bulgari Hotel in Milan, under renowned Italian chef Elio Sironi. Here he learned a lot he says. He later on learned of an opportunity in Florence.
He joined and met his mentor executive pastry chef Domenico di Clemente at the Michelin-starred Il Palagio at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, only then did Lorenzo know that his heart lay firmly with pastry.
“Pastry is a science,” explains Lorenzo, who once trashed over a hundred soufflés just to perfect one. “It’s technical and precise. Chef Domenico taught me the art of perfection – that nothing should go in front of a guest if we don’t love it ourselves.”
After Firenze, Lorenzo ventured out into Asia, and worked at the Regent Singapore, a Four Seasons Hotel. There he managed Dolcetto, the hotel’s gourmet pasticceria. He explains that he was brought in to make sure that they were creating excellent Italian-style pastries.
Now as executive pasty chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, Lorenzo oversees the lovely Le Patisserie as well as the desserts served throughout the property. La Patisserie he says is a good combination, it’s concept is French, but it is run by Italian pastry chefs. “I believe that the French style is without a doubt, the best pastry style. It is classic, elegant and simple. But I believe as well that the Italians make it better!” Lorenzo exclaims. “I believe that our taste concentrates on the product, we want to bring out nuances of the produce and the products, developing flavor.” Lorenzo says that in combining these concepts, they can produce something new for the Jakarta market. “My main concern is to produce good products, presentation is secondary, but also very important.”
A signature cake Lorenzo has for La Patisserie is the 360 Chocolate, which is obviously the whole cake is made out of chocolate. With a combination of 64% and 70% chocolate, quite strong and full-flavored, and is presented in various textures, preparations and designs.
Also now making the rounds of social media is a dessert which Lorenzo has made for Palm Court, one of the hotel’s restaurants. “The Upside Down Cheesecake is a funny concept. I love plated desserts, for here I wanted something nice and interesting. With a profile that everyone could enjoy. We took a glass, placed cheesecake at the bottom, then built a little forest on top. It has chocolate trunks, green pistachio sponge, chocolate crumble and some flowers. It is called upside down, because the cheesecake is on the bottom, then the crumb then the decoration.”
Asked what his favorite pastries were, he says he loves the mille-feuille — “I like the texture of the puff pastry with the Chantilly cream” and of course his mother’s apple strudel, good pastry starts always with good quality ingredients.
“I believe in keeping things simple and getting the basics right, whether it’s a plain cornetto or torta di mele,” says Sollecito on his pastry philosophy. “Desserts are a little like the pampering from our spouses or mothers. We may not get it every day but when we do, it makes us very happy. And I hope my desserts not only fill bellies but also bring happiness – even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
Very well said. Now I want one of Lorenzo’s creations. See you at the Four Seasons!
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL JAKARTA
Capitol Place, Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 18, Jakarta
T: +62 21 2277 1888
IG & Twitter: @fsjakarta
When you mentioned the name of Miko Aspiras to people of the Philippines, many of them would smile remembering all their sweet favorites at the do-it-your-self ice cream bar at Magnum Manila, or the freshly baked cookies aroma at Scout’s Honor, to the delightful classic infused Japanese flavors soufflé at Le Petit Soufflé.
HE MIGHT BE just 28 years old but he has successfully mesmerized everyone with his amazing creations.
As one of the speakers at Madrid Fusion Manila congress last April, Aspiras put us in such excitement.
It is so interesting to hear about how he re-interpreted the meaning of comfort food and elevated it into a completely new level. Aspiras is an award-winning chef and has achieved the gold prize at World Association of Chef Societies in Korea by presenting his specialty of fine dining plated desserts.
We talked about his work, perfect dessert and also his upcoming own wedding cake!
FoodieS (F): You are a chef that has strong relationship with art and it shows in your creation. Tell us about the process, which comes first when you are creating a desert?
Miko Aspiras (MA): I prioritize flavors first as it has to be the foundation for me. Because you can create so many things after you create the flavor as the foundation, then everything else will just follow. The beauty of it will come after, but you need to prioritize. That is what I do from the start. Flavor first!
F: And how does the aesthetic enter this process? At what point you decide on how the final look of the dessert should be?
MA: It’s easy for me because I’ve been doing it for quite a long time already. Right after creating the flavor, I would instantly have imagined many things. My imagination can be quite random and crazy sometimes. So it is easy for me to tame it down to something that is pleasing but I can go crazy anytime.
F: Why you choose to be a pastry chef when many others especially in this congress would like to be chef de cuisine?
MA: No, I beg to differ, because there are so many things that you can do with pastry. When I was still studying, I really thought that I was going to the hot kitchen. But now, ever since I started competing in many competitions, I realized that I have a finger and tongue for sweet things. So I follow that passion and learned so many things along the way. This is the result and this is what I do now. For me, I don’t see myself doing anything else but dessert as it is the key driver of a restaurant.
F: You are talking about a new definition of comfort food; can you share us about it?
MA: New comfort food is something that you’ve never tried before but when you do, it feels that you are feeling comfort by it and brings you childhood memories. People might say it is new and different that they have never tried it before, but when they do its instantly gives them that comfort. For example we have this most popular savory dish called beef curry soufflé, where I put beef curry under beef strips and cover on top with cheese soufflé. It is weird, yet is new and once you’ve tasted it, it is so comforting.
F: On the savory dessert note, what is your positioning in this movement? Do you think the market that used to sweet desserts ready for this?
MA: We love sweet but to be able to eat a lot of it, we need something salty. It is a perfect balance. I usually lean towards that when trying to please the market palate, because people like that salty-sweet balance. So I don’t see any problem with that, as it is easy to grasp.
F: How do you insert your Filipino heritage flavor into your creation?
MA: Okay to be honest, I was trained by different chefs and inspired by many books, but none of them are Filipinos. Until this year, I am glad to say that I am finally influenced. I got invited to talk to Madrid Fusion Manila and I felt that I had to do it, as it is something that I have never explored before. Before this year, I have never really immersed myself in using Filipinos ingredients and there are so many wonderful things. I am lucky enough and grateful to the people that gave me their products from other regions of Philippines.
F: What do you think is the upcoming trend for dessert?
MA: I think the salty-sweet combination will continue on as trend as it is something classy.
F: What is your opinion on a perfect dessert?
MA: Perfect dessert…hmmm… it can be anything right? It has to give a smile to the person that’s eating it because that is the main purpose of dessert.
F: You have a series of successful restaurants. How do you keep consistency?
MA: It is not easy and it is a problem, but you have to be really strict. The way I teach my staff is to inspire them. In order to make them able to do the process within my style, I have to inspire them.
F: Congratulations for your engagement. Can you tell us about your wedding cake and how elaborate will it be?
MA: Thank you. The wedding is going to be on next year and I have few pastry friends who are dear to me and will create the cake for me. I don’t know yet and I let them to surprise me. I have specifications of course and they have to follow it, because I want my table to be filled with desserts.